Pakistan: Roadside Big Water Paradise
It was once a paradise for travelers and mountain sports lovers, but for the past 15 years or more Pakistan has been closer to a war zone than anything else. While fewer and fewer people are traveling to Pakistan for leisure, some hardy adventurers are still determined to enjoy the exciting peaks and rivers of this part of the Himalayas – home of the the K2, the Indus river, and so many more world class adventure playgrounds.
Up until now, the general consensus on kayaking in Pakistan has been that it should take place in low-water months during early spring and autumn. Last summer, British paddlers Chris Griffiths, James Smith and Joe Rea-Dickins from Aberystwyth University Canoe Club headed to Pakistan with the intention of disproving this rumor. They found a wide variety of whitewater ranging from small steep flooded tributaries to huge-volume rapids on rivers ordinarily known for their boulder gardens. Above all they found super friendly locals always eager to help and definitely happy to see foreigners visiting, proving once again their ancestral sense of hospitality.
Of the smaller rivers, they logged first descents on sections of Karga nala, Singal nala, Batret nala, Burbur nala, Baigaz gol and Karambar nala, which were only possible during peak flows. In terms of big volume, the team focused on the Gilgit River with a short trip to the Hunza near Karimabad, which resulted in only a few kilometers of paddling due to the fact that it was incredibly high.
The trip was cut short due to a lost passport and expired visas, but the crew would highly recommend midsummer Pakistan to anyone who enjoys roadside big-volume boating with huge amounts of first descent potential.
Check out Joe Rea-Dickins new movie’s trailer featuring the Pakistan mission: High Full